It’s been nearly 20 years, but the wait is nearly over…
Yes, that may have thrown one or two of you. True, anticipation has been building slowly since images of Jaguar’s latest sportscar officially broke cover early this year. When would it arrive? What power would it deliver? When would it make its debut? And, most importantly, what would it look like? But this wasn’t the first time the F-Type had teased its way into the public eye.
Back in the early 1990s, the NPX Project was starting to build momentum. Using Jaguar resources and funded heavily by parent company Ford, styling for the new F-Type was almost complete before directors pulled the plug at the eleventh hour. Design started anew on the XJS, but the unfinished design was booted over to Jaguar’s sister outfit Aston Martin. A tweak here and a re-drawn line there, and the world eventually bid hello to the DB7. Ten years and one DB9 later, and Aston has never looked back.
Fast forward to the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011. The C-X16 concept was unveiled to the world, the smallest two-seater roadster to have emerged from Jaguar since the 1954 XK120. And just months after a cut-and-shut XKS had been seen doing the rounds on the marque’s home turf in the UK. Could it be? Could this new concept actually be a base for the new F-Type?
There may be a production model in the years to come, teased Jaguar bigwigs, but nothing solid was confirmed.
As it was the C-X16 would not be consigned to the rubbish heap like so many Motor Show concepts that had preceded it. Shots of real world tests started filtering through, and the noise about the E-Type’s spiritual successor began to increase. Soon the codename was dropped altogether.